How to Use Google Adwords to Improve Your Business Search Ranking

When most people think about search engine marketing for their business, they immediately think about a single program: Google AdWords. AdWords revolutionized advertising on the web and, not incidentally, has made a fortune for Google as a company. What makes AdWords special is its do-it-yourself aspect, which puts a huge amount of control in the hands of individual businesspeople.

The big picture

AdWords is a Google service that allows individuals and companies to take out ads that appear at the top or along the right-hand side of a page of Google search results. They’re the ads enclosed in small boxes that contain links to websites. Those ads are clicked hundreds of thousands of times every day. Every time someone clicks an ad, the person who placed the ad is charged a fee.

If the “clicker” goes on to make a purchase on the website that is being advertised, or if he or she fills out a form or takes out a new membership, the person who took out the AdWords ad earns money. If your website is being advertised, you make money from the purchase. If you advertise someone else’s site and that site pays affiliates, you earn a referral fee.

The exact fee varies from site to site. On eBay, a purchase can earn the affiliate a sizeable fee of 40 percent or more. A new registration can earn the affiliate as much as $22. If that click cost 10 cents, that’s a huge profit — even if it takes a hundred clicks before someone takes one of the actions that earn the affiliate a referral fee.

One thing that makes AdWords effective is that the ads are targeted; they appear only on search results that are similar to the product or service being advertised.

How to sign up for the service

Taking out an account with AdWords is the easy part. Before you start, you should decide what you want to advertise.

You also need to obtain a Google account with a username and password. To do this, go to Google’s home page, click the Sign In link, and click the Create an Account Now link.

After you sign in, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Google Advertising Programs page.

    Click Advertising Programs at the bottom of the home page, or go directly to www.google.com/ads.

  2. Click Get Started beneath the Advertise on Google header to go to your page on the AdWords site.

  3. Follow the steps shown on the screens that follow to finish creating your Google account.

How to write AdWords ads

After you create an AdWords account, as described in the previous steps, the Welcome to AdWords window automatically appears, open to the Campaigns tab. When the Google AdWords page appears, follow these steps:

  1. Click the green button labeled New Campaign.

    A drop-down menu appears with options for where you want the ad to appear: Google’s search network or its display network.

  2. Choose Search & Display Networks for the widest coverage.

    The Search & Display Networks - Standard page appears.

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  3. In the Campaign name box, enter the name of the business you are advertising.

  4. Under Networks, make sure the networks where you want your ad to appear are checked.

  5. Under Devices, all types of computer devices that could display your ad (mobile devices, tablets, and desktop computers) are chosen by default. If you don’t want your ad to be seen by mobile devices, for instance, click Switch to Legacy Campaign Settings, twice.

  6. Under Locations, click the button next to the countries where you want your ad to appear.

  7. Under Bidding and Budget, specify how much you want to pay whenever someone clicks your ad.

    It’s wise to set this amount low to begin with so you aren’t surprised by high charges. To be conservative, you might choose 10 cents per click and a limit of $10 per day, for instance. Or click the button next to AdWords will set my bids… to let AdWords set a per-click price for you.

  8. Under Ad Extensions, check the box next to any additional information, such as your location or a phone number, that you want to add to your ad.

  9. When you’re done, click Save and Continue.

  10. In the Ad Group Name box, enter a name that describes your ad.

    This name is only for your convenience and can be something as simple as website Ad.

  11. Under the Create an Ad heading, type an attention-grabbing, click-inducing, action-producing ad for this product.

    You have only 35 characters for each of the four lines to do so; you’ll see in a moment just how short a space that is.

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  12. Type a heading (up to 35 characters including spaces) in the Headline box.

  13. Write Description lines 1 and 2 (each up to 35 characters) in the boxes provided.

  14. In the box next to Display URL, type the URL that will appear in the body of the ad.

  15. In the Destination URL box, retype the same URL.

    If you are advertising as an affiliate for a website like Amazon.com, this box will contain a complex link you need to obtain from Amazon.com. Here’s an example:

    LP to CD Conversion
    Restore scratchy old LPs, tapes
    Price includes restoration, design
    www.lp2cdsolutions.com
  16. When you’re done, scroll down to the Keywords section of the page.

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  17. Choose keywords to accompany your ad.

    You can use Google’s suggestions, which are presented on the Choose Keywords page. Or you can consult an online service such as Wordtracker for suggested keywords.

  18. When you’re done, click Save Ad Group.

    You go to a page where you can review your ad and adjust your keywords, if needed.

Your campaign goes online in a matter of minutes if it meets Google’s review standards. After your ad is online, you can create variations and see which ones get the best results.

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